• After a spending spree this winter by the New York Yankees, more and more owners are coming out stating that they believe baseball should institute a salary cap. While this is a good idea in theory, it is too little too late for baseball ever establishing a cap. With a strong players union that will never agree to such a thing, the pie in the sky dreams of a cap will never become a reality in our lifetime. I do think that a salary floor needs to be set so teams are forced to spend at least a certain amount of money rather than pocketing any revenue sharing they may receive. This will help keep things more competitive and help prevent teams from tanking a season before it even starts. We have seen signs of that recently and is not fair to fans of that team who pay good money and spend time following them. It is a mess that we all just have to deal with.
• Not only are the Cincinnati Reds in the market for an outfielder, they are also on the lookout for a pinch-hitter who can provide some power for them in late innings. Players mentioned were Richie Sexson, Daryle Ward, Kevin Millar, Nomar Garciaparra, Mike Sweeney and Rich Aurilia. While none of those names jump off the page at you, some are obviously better fits than others. While Sexson’s name bring with it a lot of past power and success, it also brings a big question mark due to his inconsistencies the past couple of seasons. Of that group I would have to go with Kevin Millar (I’m a big Millar guy). Not only does Millar still have some good pop in his bat (20 homers last season with Baltimore) but he is also a fantastic clubhouse guy and leader. If the Reds are serious about putting together a contender, this is the type of guy they are going to need.
• As the Dodgers welcome in new reliever Guillermo Mota today, they prepare to part ways with Andruw Jones one way or another. While adding more depth to their bullpen with Mota it appears as if Jones’ time with the Dodgers is officially over. As Thursday draws near he will either be out the door via trade or via a cut. I discussed Jones and his fall from grace in my article “Deconstructing Andruw Jones” and tried to get to the bottom of his sudden collapse from super stardom.
I still think Jones has something left in the tank and after seeing him recently, is in fantastic shape. I also still believe that his best bet is returning to the Braves. Not only would the fans welcome him back with open arms, he has a history there and won’t feel the “big city” pressure he did in L.A. Hopefully he can regain some of that magic from his career prior to 2007 when it all started to crumble.
• Apparently Paul Byrd thinks that he can come and go as he pleases after it was announced Byrd would sit out the first half of the 2009 season. Claiming he wants to spend more time with his family (what players don’t?) he said he will bypass some nice offers on the table to come back this summer. From a front office standpoint, GMs have to love this with the option of getting a solid, fresh number five starter down the stretch. On the other hand I think Byrd’s potential teammates might not like him just rolling into town and joining the party so late in the season. We will have to wait and see how this all comes together this summer, but rest assured there will be many teams lining up for him.
• The “News and Notes” articles will now end with a link to a story elsewhere on the net that I find interesting and want to share with you. This is a good way to broaden everyone’s horizons, show some love to my fellow writers and maybe even help you find another site you’d like to work into your rotation. Of course without cutting me out of it.
Today’s is from one of my favorite sites “The Hardball Times” where columnist Chris Jaffe discusses just how incredible Rickey Henderson truly was in his article “The Wonder of Rickey.” I was a huge fan of Rickey growing up as he revolutionized the lead off spot and set the bar incredibly high for those following him.